• PRINT
  • RSS

Instant Analysis: The Toronto Trade

Sunday, 07.3.2011 / 11:10 AM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
X
Share with your Friends


Instant Analysis: The Toronto Trade
The Franson/Lombardi trade is a trade that can’t fully be evaluated right now; it’s a set-up move for other options down the line, specifically moving Lombardi’s contract off the books. This move now gives the Preds the flexibility to be active in the off-season market. And the trade also speaks to the tremendous depth of talented defensemen the Preds have accumulated. As much as Franson brought to the ice, he only averaged 15:10 of ice time last season and with the emergence of Jon Blum (who averaged 17:42 during the regular season and 18:51 a game during the playoffs) and return of Francis Bouillon, there was no guarantee Franson would be able work his way into a more prominent role for the Preds in 2011-12.

“Unfortunately Lombardi’s concussion early last season and relatively lack of recovery to date left us in a position of uncertainty heading into this season, which made it difficult for us to plan,” Preds GM David Poile said. “This move allows us more certainty with our roster heading into this season. Now it’s my job to build around the strong core we have in place and when the opportunity presents, I’d like to strike to help make that core even better.”

Nashville’s defense looks impressive with Weber and Suter back at the top pairing, Klein and Blum, a strong pairing for the Preds during the playoffs, a potential second pairing, and Bouillon, a 20:00 a night guy last season, back healthy for the start of ’11-12. Add in Lebda, a playoff-proven battler from his time in Detroit, plus someone from the talented young quartet of Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Roman Josi and Teemu Laakso and Nashville’s rotation of blueliners should remain one of the league’s elite … with one of the best goaltending tandems in the league backing them up.

Today’s move is more about opening up options to improve the team’s production up front. And keep in mind, Nashville has had significant success finding the correct fits later in the free agency period. Yanick Perreault was a 20+ goal, 50+ point contributor signed late in the 2005 free agency period. J-P Dumont was signed late in the Summer of 2006 and surpassed the 60-point mark in each of his first three seasons with the club. Joel Ward and Sergei Kostitsyn were under the radar moves and both made key contributions during their first season with the Preds.

“We’ve had good success waiting for the right players later in the summer,” Poile said. “We don’t need to just sign someone, we need to sign the right people. Some times that presents itself on July 1, some times it’s September 1. We have time before the season starts and we’ll stay active in looking for ways to improve our team. But we still feel like we’ve got one of the best defenses in the league between the goaltending and defensemen, we’re very comfortable in how we shape up there. There are a lot of things we like about our forwards, but obviously that’s an area we’re going to continue to monitor to see how we can improve, much like we did when we brought in Mike Fisher in February.”


SMASHVILLE CENTRAL

SCHEDULE
 

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS
 

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 CHI 57 36 17 4 158 130 76
2 DAL 54 34 15 5 174 145 73
3 STL 56 30 17 9 133 130 69
4 LAK 52 32 17 3 144 119 67
5 SJS 52 28 20 4 149 138 60
6 ANA 52 26 19 7 117 122 59
7 NSH 54 25 21 8 139 144 58
8 COL 56 27 25 4 149 155 58
9 MIN 53 23 20 10 130 130 56
10 ARI 52 24 22 6 138 161 54
11 VAN 53 21 20 12 123 143 54
12 CGY 52 24 25 3 138 151 51
13 WPG 53 24 26 3 137 151 51
14 EDM 55 21 29 5 133 166 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Josi 54 11 27 -3 38
F. Forsberg 54 17 18 -7 35
S. Weber 54 14 21 -5 35
M. Ribeiro 54 6 27 2 33
J. Neal 54 19 13 18 32
M. Ekholm 54 6 18 3 24
R. Ellis 53 6 16 2 22
C. Smith 54 11 7 -2 18
C. Jarnkrok 53 9 8 0 17
C. Wilson 37 4 12 -1 16
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 20 18 7 .903 2.54
C. Hutton 5 2 1 .916 2.36